The Volkswagen Routan has quietly been out of production since July, but with a new three-row crossover on the way and a recent back-and-forth spat between Volkswagen executives and Sergio Marchionne of Fiat, it's probable that the 2012 model year could be the last for this minivan. The current agreement for Chrysler to build the Routan in Windsor, Ontario lasts through 2014, but Automotive News is reporting that VW might be looking to renegotiate the deal early next year.
Aside from any of the political issues going on between the two automakers, the truth of the matter is that the Routan just isn't selling well. So far this year, VW has sold just 9,923 units of the badge-engineered minivan, down 17 percent from last year. Almost all of the other entrants in the segment have enjoyed double-digit sales increases this year including the Chrysler trio of vans (Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Ram C/V), Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest. Overall, the Grand Caravan remains the top-selling minivan through November with 127,308 units sold, and Chrysler as a whole continues to dominate the segment it created with total minivan sales of 236,195 across its Dodge, Chrysler and Ram brands.
To make matters even worse for the Routan, the minivan market is about to add another (admittedly left-field) competitor into the mix when Ford returns to the segment with the long-wheelbase 2014 Transit Connect.